In common with all schools in Wales, all students at Ysgol Greenhill School follow the Welsh Baccalaureate course at Advanced Level for two years along with their chosen AS and A2 Levels. We refer to it in documentation and in dialogue with students as Welsh Bacc or WB.
In September 2015, the Year 12 cohorts will start the new WBQ being introduced for the first time by the Welsh Government and the WJEC. The central focus of the Welsh Baccalaureate at Advanced Level is to provide a vehicle for students to consolidate and further develop essential and employability skills and to provide experiences which will enable them to be better prepared for their future destination, whether that is university, further training or employment. The emphasis in the Welsh Baccalaureate is on applied learning, for instance acquiring and applying a range of transferable skills relevant to the needs and demands of the workplace and further education.
Through following the Welsh Baccalaureate course, students raise their skills levels and improve their confidence, enabling and empowering them to take their place as responsible and active citizens within a diverse society. Alongside and through the development of skills, the Welsh Baccalaureate provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of society, the community in which they live and wider awareness of global issues, events and perspectives.
The Welsh Baccalaureate qualification is based on attaining the Skills Challenge Certificate plus the necessary Supporting Qualifications. The requirements of both the Skills Challenge Certificate and Supporting Qualifications must be met in order to achieve the Welsh Baccalaureate.
The Skills Challenge Certificate consists of four compulsory components
Enterprise and Employability Challenge
Global Citizenship Challenge
The Supporting Qualifications include two mandatory GCSEs of English Language together with Mathematics. Students will also require two A Levels at grades A*- E or the equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
The Individual Project
The purpose of the Individual Project is to develop students’ skills, through carrying out a research activity with an emphasis on future educational or career aspirations and forms 50% of the qualification. During the Individual Project, students will explicitly develop skills in Literacy, Numeracy, Digital Literacy, Planning and Organisation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and be expected to apply them in an appropriate manner.
The Individual Project must be produced and presented either as a written account (3,000 –5,000 words in length) or an artefact/product supported by written evidence (1,500 – 3,000 words) and must be word processed and include a variety of graphs, images, statistical tables, diagrams and drawings. Students should work independently seeking and acting on advice when necessary.
In the Enterprise and Employability Challenge, students have the opportunity to focus on future career aspirations. The Challenge will enable students to be more opportunity-focused, self-aware and attuned to the requirements of employers and the business environment. At the heart of the Challenge is the development of an enterprising mind-set which concentrates on the realisation of how and what holds a person back or releases their potential whilst taking into account factors such as job market, application/recruitment procedures, lifestyle expectations and the importance of managing personal finance.
The Global Citizenship Challenge presents students with the opportunity to broaden their outlook, by exploring a range of issues of global significance. Through research, debate and discussion they consider a range of facts, factors, differing opinions and points of view on a variety of global issues such as Health, Food and Shelter, Population, Transportation, Economy and Natural Environment. In the Community Challenge, students have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the local, regional, national or international community. They focus on real-life concerns and needs whilst engaging in activities which aim to make a real difference. The Community Challenge provides experiences that help young people understand what it means to be an active citizen. The challenge enables them to develop as effective and responsible members of the community. Students have the opportunity to select an activity from one of the following community themes: Social/Welfare, Neighbourhood Enhancement or Coaching.
Tutorial support and mentoring
At this level, a particular focus is placed on independent learning. However, an important feature of the qualification is the entitlement for the experiences and progress of students to be enhanced and underpinned by regular tutorial support and mentoring. Each student is allocated a Personal Tutor/Mentor and has an entitlement to regular one-to-one interviews and individual help, support and guidance. The Personal Tutor/Mentor may also contribute to and provide valuable support in mapping and tracking progress of the student. Tutors are allocated by the school according to staff availability.